5 stars out of 5
Woo hoo - it's The DaVinci Code meets Indiana Jones - what a doozy of a book! Now that I've finished, seems to me it would make a great movie as well (hint, hint). Should that ever happen, though, my advice, as always, is to read the book first.
Actually, this is the fourth in the authors' "A Brit in the FBI" series. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit apprehensive about how much I'd enjoy it for that reason; would I be lost because I hadn't read the first three? No doubt I missed a few nuances because of my unfamiliarity, but I needn't have worried: the book and I got along famously - to the point that I nearly cheered when heavy duty winds blew out our cable TV, Internet and landline phone service for a few hours, giving me the perfect excuse to finish the last few chapters with no interruptions.
And did I mention it's a doozy? It's got everything I could ask for: almost nonstop action, likable characters and borderline impossible technology that threatens the planet's very existence. Although this book is way better, at times I was reminded of James Patterson's Private series (most of which I've enjoyed as well). That, I think, comes from the similar focus on a team and banter among the various members, all of whom enormously like and respect one another.
The characters here form the Covert Eyes team - a group of FBI special agents that includes Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine. They get a surprise call asking for help from an elusive thief known as the Fox (real name, Kitsune, and I gather she appeared in a previous book or books and isn't exactly a friend of Nick or Mike). After she stole an artifact that has ties to the Ark of the Covenant from an Istanbul museum, she explains, the client who hired her is trying to kill her and she's hiding out in Venice. Moreover, she claims to have overheard a conversation suggesting that a recent and very deadly Gobi Desert sandstorm didn't happen by accident.
Intrigued in large part by the notion that someone out there may be controlling the weather rather than saving Kitsune's hide, Nick and Mike and the team convince their supervisors of the need to find out what's really going on. Right from the start, what they find is danger; apparently, Kitsune didn't exaggerate - someone really is out to get her, and they'll be quite happy to take down Nick and Mike in the process. Clues lead from New York to Venice to the Gobi Desert to the Bermuda Triangle, passing too close for comfort to some very unsavory characters including a particularly nasty set of twins.
All told, it's an exciting journey loaded with near super-human efforts, espionage, a touch of what some might call the supernatural and, of course, that weather control thing. Already, I'm all ready for the next installment! A huge thank you to the publisher (via NetGalley) for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy of this one in exchange for an honest review.
The Devil's Triangle by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison (Gallery Books, March 2017); 512 pp.